A memorial service for Laron Short of Chickasha will be held Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the Davis Little Theatre on the campus of the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.
Short, 24, died May 24 from injuries sustained in the tornado that touched down in Chickasha.
A December graduate from USAO with a B.A. in communication, Short was pursuing a career in journalism. She lived in Melbourne, Australia, for five months after graduation and had planned to return.
In a statement written for her USAO communication senior project, Short wrote that “journalism is a sacred and honorable duty/passion/profession.” She regarded journalism as “the most important profession in the world because it exposes oppression, facilitates communication, and inspires people to think critically about the world in which we live.”
Prior to graduation, she completed an internship with and later freelanced for the Chickasha Express-Star. She also wrote for the Chickasha Leader. While still a student, her writing was picked up by the Associated Press at least three times.
She won first place for news writing in the 2009 journalism competition hosted by the Oklahoma College Press Association and an honorable mention for column writing in 2010. Under her leadership as editor-in-chief, the Trend, USAO’s student newspaper, was twice recognized by the national Associated Collegiate Press with “Best of Show” awards in 2008 (first place) and 2007 (second place). In 2010 she was awarded USAO’s Te Ata Award for Creative Expression.
She was also a 2006 graduate of Midwest City High School, where she served as editor of the high school student newspaper.
She is survived by her parents, Ms. Tammy Short and Ms. Jaunita Dowling of Chickasha; and Chris Short and Jan McClung of Kansas City, Mo.; an aunt and uncle, Donna and Rick Gunkel of Coyle; an uncle, Ray Porter of El Reno; and friends she described as her “sisters and brothers,” Jared Minson of Edmond, Tonya Dymond of Chickasha, Tina Dymond of Chickasha, C. W. Bardsher of Marlow, Ryan Lemasters of Oklahoma City, Tim Harvey of Guthrie, and Wendy Chambers of Wayne. From Melbourne, Australia, close friends included Evan McHugh, Emerson Tung, and Rob Wog.